Published: July 23, 2022

Las Vegans brave the heat to get rich with lottery tickets in Primm

Lotto fever took on a new meaning Friday in Primm.

Thousands of Southern Nevadans crossed the state line into California to buy tickets for the $660 million Mega Millions drawing.

But to run the gauntlet to the ticket window at The Lotto Store, they had to endure a line wrapping around the building in temperatures well over 100 degrees.

“$660 million,” said Chip Hanson. “People will wait through anything to do that.”

Hanson said he realized early in the day that if he wanted a shot at the jackpot, he’d need to be ready to sweat it out in line.

“I already knew. Saw it this morning, 112. I figured out here [in Primm] it might be 115.”

Since Nevada is not one of the 45 states, along with the District of Columbia and Virgin Islands, which sell MegaMillions and Powerball tickets, nearly everyone in the line was from Las Vegas or elsewhere in Southern Nevada.

All of them braving the heat despite the odds of winning Mega Millions at 1 in 302.5 million.

When asked if the heat was a consideration before deciding to go for the money, Gladys Alemar said, “I did. That’s why I brought my umbrella so I don’t get burned because it’s gonna be hot out here. So, yes, I did consider that.”

Inside The Lotto Store, only a short distance from the purchase window, a lotto hopeful known only as Mr. G. said he was happy to finally be in the air conditioning.

He also said he had a morning strategy to beat the heat.

"You get in a little early, the line won't be as long 'cause the longer you stay out, the heat gonna be hotter and then the line gonna be longer.”

Also in line was Rudy Pamintuan, who endured the heat for a Facebook group that has organized a lottery pool.

“Currently, we've got 94 people participating in this pool so we're pretty excited,” he said. “We’ve been doing this group for five years. I know what to expect. I knew the line wouldn't be that long, so I have the building for shade.”

Also being watched closely, the $119 million Powerball jackpot. That drawing will be held Saturday night.

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